Star Rider

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Star Rider
Developer(s) Williams Electronics
Publisher(s) Williams Electronics
Platform(s) Arcade
Release 1983
Genre(s) racing
Mode(s) Single player

Star Rider is a laserdisc-based arcade racing game developed by Computer Creations and Williams Electronics and released in 1983. The object of the game is to win a futuristic motorcycle race that takes place in surrealistic settings. The tracks themselves and the background graphics are video played from a laserdisc, and are of higher quality than possible with real-time computer graphics at the time. The foreground graphics and racers are superimposed on the video. Star Rider has a rear view mirror—possibly the first racing game with one —which warns of opponents approaching from behind.[1]

Star Rider was produced in both an upright and a sit-down version where the player would sit on a replica of the cycle. It was released after the video game crash of 1983 and was not widely distributed. According to Eugene Jarvis of Williams, Star Rider was a "major dog" and resulted in or contributed to a loss of US$50 million.[2]

The title character from Sinistar and a flying mount from Joust make cameo appearances in the background graphics.


The game was conceived to compete with the laserdisc game Dragon's Lair which had just come to market.[citation needed] R.J. Mical coordinated the project,[3] Ken Lantz directed software development, Richard Witt was lead programmer, and John Newcomer was the creative director. The laser disc video production was outsourced to a third-party company, Computer Creations, of South Bend, Indiana. Witt and Lantz developed a means by which the first few lines of NTSC video signal contained data about the roadway, so that animated riders could appear to follow the track.


  1. ^ Gorzelany, Jim (April 1984). "Going Full Cycle". Video Games. 2 (7): 24–29. 
  2. ^ Hague, James (1997). Halcyon Days: Interviews with Classic Computer and Video Game Programmers. 
  3. ^ "Work History of RJ Mical". 

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